Sea Bears begin road trip with thrilling triumph – Winnipeg Free Press

The Winnipeg Sea Bears opened a three-game road trip Wednesday in Brampton, Ont., with another wonderfully chaotic victory.

Winnipeg seemed to be cruising to a quick win in Target Score time but stumbled at the free-throw line before Teddy Allen’s eight-foot floater found the hoop to allow the Sea Bears to escape with a 92-90 triumph over the hometown Honey Badgers in a rare Canadian Elite Basketball League late-morning game.

Winnipeg centre Chad Posthumus finished with 17 points and seven rebounds in a superb performance off the bench but missed three of four free throws in Target Score time that permitted the hosts to rally from a seven-point deficit and pull into a 90-90 tie, setting the stage for Allen’s heroics before 4,068 fans at the CAA Centre.

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Winnipeg’s Chad Posthumus throws down a dunk for two of his 17 points.

With Winnipeg holding a 90-86 lead, Posthumus had two chances to win the game from the line but missed both.

“I thought Chad handled it really well,” said Sea Bears GM and head coach Mike Taylor, by phone. “(The Honey Badgers) were trying to ice him, right? They were doing all kinds of little things to keep him standing there — players bumping into him and doing all kinds of stuff. Chad did his best. He got one for us and he tried hard on the others. But I thought we managed the end of the game very well…

“There were lots of unusual situations in the game today and I’m proud of the way they survived the adversity.”

Winnipeg posted it third consecutive win to improve to 3-1 heading into Thursday’s game in Kitchener, Ont., against the Niagara River Lions.

“There were lots of unusual situations in the game today and I’m proud of the way they survived the adversity.”–Mike Taylor

Allen, the reigning league MVP, finished with 30 points (including 11 in the fourth quarter), while adding four rebounds and five assists. He also committed five turnovers.

“This is a great advantage of Teddy rising to the top,” said Taylor. “You look at the foul count in the game — there’s 21 fouls for us, 14 for them — they shot more free throws than us. It was really a home-court advantage game for Brampton. They did everything they could to win. They played really, really hard. And like I said to our guys, ‘I’m really proud that we managed the game, managed the challenges and really came through in a big way.’”

Allen and Posthumus were two of five Sea Bears to reach double figures. Jarred Ogungbemi-Jackson scored 16 points and added three rebounds and nine assists while Byron Mullens added 13 points and eight rebounds.

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                                Winnipeg’s Teddy Allen slices to the hoop for two of his game-high 30 points Wednesday.

CEBL PHOTO

Winnipeg’s Teddy Allen slices to the hoop for two of his game-high 30 points Wednesday.

Forward David Muenkat, playing his first game with the Sea Bears since finishing his season in the German pro league, had 10 points, six rebounds, one steal and three blocks.

“David was fantastic — he fit in with the guys immediately,” said Taylor. “This was a guy who was playing a lot on instinct. He really didn’t know a lot of our system and our plays but he fit in extremely well. We tried to keep it as simple as we could, switching screens defensively and allowing him to guard and match up one on one. You could see his connection with Teddy. He made a really beautiful pass to Teddy cutting to the basket and he made the athletic play with a beautiful tip dunk in transition (in the third quarter).”

Javonte Cook and Shamiel Stevens had 16 points each to lead the Honey Badgers, now 2-3.

Winnipeg played without the services of import power forward Darius Days, and the former NBAer will not play Thursday against the River Lions.

“It’s his dream is to get back to the NBA and he had some interest from some clubs,” said Taylor. “Obviously, we want him to be a big part of what we’re doing but he also had some opportunities that he needed to try to capitalize on. He will rejoin us shortly but he’s got a couple NBA workouts over the next several days.”

sports@freepress.mb.ca

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